Those convicted of electoral malpractices continue to vote
As per the existing provisions of Representation of People’s Act, an individual convicted by a court for electoral malpractices can be debarred from voting for a period of six years. According to Section 11A of the Representation of People’s Act, any person who is convicted of an offence punishable under Section 171-E or Section 171-F of the IPC, or under Section 125 or Section 135, or Clause (a) of sub-section (2 of Section 136 of this Act), shall, for a period of six years from the date of conviction or from the date on which the order takes effect, be disqualified from voting in any election.
Application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that in nearly 200 cases, no action has been initiated by the Election Commission (EC) on removing the names of such people from the electoral list.
RTI activist M Loganathan, a practising lawyer and coordinator of Federation for Sustainable Development, NGO has collected the details of those convicted of election related offences by filing RTI petitions in many police stations across Tamilnadu. He has made a representation to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar requesting for action against such individuals. The representation contains the names and addresses of those who have been convicted of election-related offences but continue to be on the electoral rolls.
Similar situation may exist in other states of the country. It indicates a lack of mechanism to monitor election related cases on a regular basis.